contemplative monk : Intentional Spirituality Transforms

How To Read: The Ancient Art

 

Dead Sea Scroll -- the World's Oldest Secrets

Photo Credit: Ken and Nyetta

How To Read

If you’re reading for information, scan.

But if something’s worth reading, read ‘the words beneath the words.’  That is, get into the author’s head. Don’t just try to understand what they’re saying.

Read With Discernment.

Why is this person writing this?  What are they trying to convince me of?  What’s their goal?

Scripture tells us to ‘test all things and hold fast to what’s good.’

So, what spirit is this guy writing in?  And closely tied to it is, What’s the intent of their heart?

It’s all there in ‘the words beneath the words.’  Their world view. Their presuppositions.  Their theology. Their relationship with God, or lack of one.

How To Read And More

It’s good to read Scripture this way. No holes barred. Don’t hold back.

Psalms says “the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.”

You don’t have to be afraid of uncovering anything.

Prove Scripture for yourself. Tear it apart. You won’t be disappointed.

Be a stickler for Primary Sources. Everything else is just Spin, and you know how that goes. 

After my third year of Greek, my professor looked me dead in the eye, and said, “Bob, You’re the most dangerous thing to the Body of Christ.”  I asked him, “Why?”  to which he replied, “It takes at least thirteen years of consistent study to properly translate New Testament Greek.” And you know what, He’s right.

Your Secret Weapon

So barring setting aside the next fifteen plus years to study primary languages, you’ve got a secret weapon.  Plug in to your intuitive heart, and listen.  “Be still, and know that I Am God.”  There, in the stillness, God will touch your heart. There, He will give you what you need.

This is the place of your greatest strength. Your greatest insight, Your greatest discernment …Being Present, in The Presence of God.

I love the way the Westminster Shorter Catechism sums it up,  “Our primary purpose is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.”

So get to it. Glorify and Enjoy…

So, What Is Your Faith Journey?

Now, in my faith journey, as you might know, I came out of a Buddhist/Native world view.

Growing up, seeing Churchanity, I was convinced God wasn’t in it.

So, I started reading Confucius, and every other so called ‘holy book’  I could get my hands on, searching for the truth.

I read the Bhagavad Gita, the Tao te Ching, Confucius, The Upanishads, Gilgamesh, the works of Plato, The Koran, Koans, The Didiche’, The Way of the Pilgrim, and the list goes on and on.

I tore through them. I devoured them.

They all held bits, and shadows. I wanted more.

The Bible and Jesus were at the bottom of my list.  So, when I started stripping away, everything off of  Scripture, the Bible, I was startled.

There behind every Scripture, ‘the words underneath the words’, I see God. It dumbfounds me.

When Jesus says, “the words that I speak to you are Spirit, and they are Life.” I break. Time breaks, and I’m a mess.

If I could jump through these words, I would grab your shoulders,  look into your eyes, and tell you, that “You are loved.”

 

 

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